The following Executive Director’s report was submitted to the Commission at its November 21, 2015 board meeting at the Filipino Community Center of Seattle. The report covers a time period from September 20, 2015 to November 21, 2015. View in PDF format.

    1. Budget: The Commission is operating within its current fiscal year budget of $222,000, which includes costs such as communications, technology, printing, office rent, small agency accounting services, board meetings, travel, and salaries.
    1. Upcoming Audit: The Washington State Auditor has notified the Commission that an accountability audit will be conducted. The planning phase is expected to begin in November 2015.
    1. Legislative Session: The 2016 regular session convenes on January 11 and is scheduled to adjourn on March 10. Bills that passed during the previous long session are retained for the following short session.
    1. Community Connections: Staff met with numerous community leaders and community-based organizations to hear about issues and concerns facing their unique communities. When necessary, casework and policy issues are brought to the attention of the Governor’s Office, federal agencies, state agencies, legislative members, and municipalities.
      1. Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC): CAPAA is working with APIC leaders to schedule a meeting with the Governor during the 2016 legislative session. In addition, APIC is planning an APA Summit in 2016.
      2. Northwest Association of Pacific Americans: Staff attended the October meeting for the Board of Directors. Staff informed them of CAPAA’s upcoming board meeting and learned about events and issues in the community.
      3. Puget Sound Educational Service District: CAPAA and the Sikh Coalition met with staff at the PSESD to discuss opportunities to educate the region’s school staff about the challenges facing Sikh students.
      4. Tri-County Refugee Planning Committee: Members received a briefing from the Workforce Board on efforts to better integrate the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and how WIOA will impact limited English proficient clients.
      5. Community Events: Staff attended numerous community events to connect with constituents and learn about community issues and concerns. Events included the El Centro Gala, ACRS Gala Dinner, AANAPISI Art Gallery Reception at South Seattle College, NW Asian Weekly Visionary Award Gala, South Pacific Tattoos Exhibit Opening Reception, Community of Contrasts 2015 Report Launch, Forefront Annual Event, and Husky Leadership Initiative Fireside Chat.
      6. Federal Outreach: The Commission continues to maintain relationships with federal agencies to stay apprised of policies impacting the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in our state.
        1. White House Initiative on AAPIs (WHIAAPI): Staff and Commissioners are working with WHIAAPI to host an education roundtable in early 2016.
      7. Agency Outreach: Staff continues to connect with members of the Commission’s Asian Pacific American State Agency Liaison Network (APASAL Network). These check-ins serve as an important way to cover current policies and programs for the AAPI community, partnership opportunities, assistance requests, recommendations, and policy issues with state agencies.
        1. Department of Commerce: The department’s Minority Business Roundtable will convene in early December to discuss its 2016 priorities.
        2. Department of Health: The Commission received word that its proposed changes to the next Healthy Youth Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System have been accepted by the review committees. If final adoption is approved, the HYS would collect data on seven Asian sub-population groups and the BRFSS would add Cambodian/Khmer to its list of Asian sub-population choices for respondents.
          DOH has released a Request for Funding Application for its Regional Marijuana Prevention and Education Program, which aims to prevent and reduce marijuana use by youth. CAPAA has been working to inform community-based organizations about this grant opportunity. In addition, DOH is conducting listening sessions Dec. 2-4 to gather feedback to update its 5-year tobacco and control strategic plan. More details are available on the CAPAA website.
        3. Department of Labor and Industries, Department of Licensing, and US Department of Labor: An intergovernmental workgroup is meeting to ensure all applicable laws regarding health, safety, and worker rights are being followed by the nail salon industry. The members are creating a project plan to coordinate resources and efforts.
        4. Department of Labor and Industries: Rose Gundersen is L&I’s new Small Business liaison. Rose speaks Chinese and has non-profit, small business, and legal experience. For questions about workers’ compensation, wage and hour rules, and workplace safety, please contact L&I at 1-800-987-0145 or
        5. Department of Licensing: The Dept. of Homeland Security has notified DOL that Washington’s extension to comply with the REAL ID Act has been denied. DOL is awaiting information from DHS on when restrictions will be enforced—making Washington’s regular ID or driver’s license invalid for entering federal buildings or traveling domestically through an airport. CAPAA will be working with DOL to ensure APA communities are informed of these changes.
        6. Department of Social and Health Services: Staff attended the November SPE Policy Consortium meeting to learn about the statewide suicide prevention plan and implementation strategies.
          DSHS has released a Request for Application for community-based organizations that can provide quality and culturally competent replications of evidence-based, research-based and promising substance abuse prevention programs to reduce youth substance abuse. More details are available on the CAPAA website.
        7. Interagency LEP Workgroup: Staff provided a briefing on the API communities to staff from multiple agencies responsible for LEP access.
        8. Office of Education Ombuds: Carrie Griffin Basas was appointed the new director of OEO. Carrie is a former civil rights and labor law attorney. She identifies passionately with the work of the OEO as a woman with a disability, the mother of a child with disabilities and English Language-learning needs, and a first-generation college graduate.
        9. Office of the Governor: Preliminary planning is underway to convene a summit in 2016 on race and social justice issues involving state agencies, local government, and community stakeholders.
        10. Office of the Secretary of State: Staff met with the new Voter Education & Outreach Specialist to discuss outreach strategies for the APA communities.
        11. Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: Staff attended the bi-annual Building Bridges Workshop Meeting, where the discussion focused on strategies to improve attendance.
        12. Washington Student Achievement Council: Staff attended WSAC’s Pave the Way Conference and participated on the State Ethnic Commissions panel discussion about the opportunity gaps impacting students of color.
        13. Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech): A WaTech intern constructed several data visualizations using AAPI Census data. A population visualization is currently available on the Commission’s website. Additional visualizations will be available by the end of the year.
    1. Board Meetings: The Commission will meet in January, March, June, September, and November in 2016. The schedule will be submitted to the State Register and posted at
    2. Asian & Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health: CAPAA received a Community Organization Recognition Award (CORA) from the Asian & Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health at its 41st annual awards ceremony on November 3.
    1. Education:
      1. Asian American and Pacific Islander Voices in Education Initiative: The Commission continues to support grassroots efforts that were launched during the Asian American and Pacific Islander Voices in Education Initiative.
        1. Southeast Asian American Education Coalition (SEAeD): Sam Le is the new Program Coordinator for the legislative session. SEAeD continues to meet to discuss its 2016 priorities.
        2. Our Future Matters: Staff attended the UPRISE Summit on October 24, 2015 at Highline College where hundreds of Pacific Islander students, families, educators, and community leaders convened to support the educational success of Pacific Islander students. CAPAA provided information at the resource fair.
      2. Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC): Sili Savusa and former Commissioner Frieda Takamura are the Commission’s lead representatives on the EOGOAC. Visit for more information.
      3. National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE): The Commission and CARE will continue its partnership to advance the iCount: Equity through Representation movement in the state. The CARE team will be submitting a data request to investigate the transition between K-12 and higher education.Staff connected with CARE staff and participants from the iCount Symposium to discuss follow up activities in the Puget Sound region to continue the momentum.
      4. Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (TBIP) Accountability Task Force: Dr. Julie Kang, Director of Professional Learning at the University of Washington, represents the Commission on the task force. A final report will be submitted to the Legislature in January 2016. More information is available at
    2. Health and Human Services: 
      1. Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Advocating Together for Health Communities: Staff attended the October meeting and discussed strategies for preventing underage marijuana use and upcoming grant opportunities.
      2. Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities: Commissioner Lori Wada is CAPAA’s representative on the Council. The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 9 in Tumwater.
      3. Health Equity for COFA migrants: Staff met with the Children’s Alliance to discuss strategies to improve health equity for migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
      4. Making Stomach Cancer a Health Priority for APAs: Staff attended and co-presented at the second Stomach Cancer Summit in October.
      5. Mental Health: Staff attended planning meetings for the Mental Health Summit that will take place at the University of Washington. Staff is working to recruit speakers and facilitators to educate, train, and create a safe space for discussion on how to destigmatize mental health in the Asian Pacific Islander community.Staff attended a Mental Health 101 conducted by Commissioner Dinh at South Seattle College with students and faculty to prepare for a series of mental health events in January for AAPI students.
      6. Pacific Islander Health Board: Staff and Chair Tufono gave an overview of the Commission and its health priorities at the PIHB Community Forum. Staff learned about the health status of Pacific Islanders in Washington and discussed health concerns in the community.
      7. Preventing Underage Marijuana Use: Staff is working with the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition and DSHS on translated materials. The requested Tagalog and Samoan marijuana fact cards have been finalized. A Tongan translation is still in the works. The public can order copies online at or contact CAPAA for assistance.
    3. Economic Development:
      1. Business Diversity Subcabinet: Gov. Inslee convened a new subcabinet focused on increasing access for small and minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to contracting opportunities with Washington state government. The Commission is a member of the subcabinet and is responsible for supporting transparency, reporting, and communication with the community.Staff attended numerous meetings to hear updates from state agency staff, including a community input meeting in late September. A scrum team formed from various state agencies recently concluded their work and reported short and long-term recommendations to support the subcabinet’s objectives.
      2. Results Washington: CAPAA is participating on the Prosperous Economy Goal Council. One of the goals is to increase access for small and minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to contracting opportunities with Washington state government.